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Comment: Re:That's still exactly what it was (Score 1) 59 59

Sadly, in more and more parts of it, it's becoming illegal to collect it. And mind you, I'm not talking about diverting seasonal drainage, I'm talking about collecting rainfall from your roof, let alone from a structure purpose-built for collecting water like you commonly see in areas with high rainfall and low government interference.

That's a far cry from a hydraulic empire since first, there would be no central control over water and it's trivial in the cases you mention to circumvent any such authority.

Comment: Re:That's still exactly what it was (Score 1) 59 59

Oil is the big one right now, but water is showing all signs of being the next.

No, it isn't. Water falls out of the sky in most of the world. And farmers, the largest consumers of water can in most parts of the world considerably reduce their water consumption with some simple approaches should that ever become important enough to do so.

Comment: Re:The reason is more simple (Score 1) 319 319

Electric vehicles are expensive and most people only buy a new vehicle every X years while electric vehicles have only been (easily) available for the last few years.

This. The last time I looked into it, the statistics I found showed that the average car in America stayed on the road around eleven years - less in good time, more in bad times. And not only have the times not been all that good for most of the last decade, the available electric cars aren't exactly 'average'... they've been targeted towards the upper end of the income range.

That and the assertion by the submitter that outlets are "prevalent at home and work" is complete bull. Charger stations are still pretty thin on the ground, especially if you don't live in California or a major metropolis.

Comment: Re:I'm retired now (Score 2) 191 191

I don't have anything nearly that bad - my worst only cost me data. A friend taught me (while I was still learning Linux) a trick, how you could play music with dd by outputting the sound to /dev/dsp. But as I said, I was still learning Linux and hadn't quite gotten all of the device names into my head, and I mixed /dev/dsp up with /dev/sda...

Comment: Re:Pao Wants "Safe Spaces" for Shills and Ideologu (Score 1) 340 340

But that's not why it works. It works because you only get 5 or 15 mod points at a time, you have 3 days to use them or lose them, and you only get them when you get enough micro-points (I think they're called "tokens") from normal usage such as reading threads.

When EVERYONE can upboat and downboat EVERY post with no limit, that's when the groupthink and circle-jerks begin.

Yet, even so, Slashdot is (in)famous for it's groupthink.

Comment: Re:It is a vicious cycle (Score 1) 340 340

It never was a really thing for the majority of Slashdot, as a whole Slashdotters have been frothing at the mouth over it from pretty much Day One of it's existence. (Second Life comes in for the same treatment.)

Which is sad for a site supposedly interested in technology and it's effects on the world.

Comment: Re:Sweden's case won't really matter (Score 1) 129 129

There is one thing where the UK would have had a role even if he hadn't fled bail, in that the UK would have been the EAW "sending state". Under an EAW surrender, the sending state has certain rights and responsibilities - for example, if a request comes for extradition to a third party, it has to not only go through the receiving state's judiciary system, but also the sending state's judiciary system; the receiving state can't just hand off someone that they received under an EAW at will. Which is one of the things that makes the whole thing even more ridiculous - Assange had so much faith in Sweden's independence against the UK (such as their ban on extradition for intelligence crimes and 2006 Swedish special forces raids to shut down the US's rendition flights secretly moving through their territory) that he called it his "shield" and was applying for a residence permit there. But suddenly, practically overnight, Sweden transformed into Evil US Lackeys(TM) when he was accused of rape. So then he went to the UK where he talked about his great respect for their independence and impartiality and promised to abide by whatever rulings their judicial system made. Until he ran out of appeals, wherein the UK also turned into Evil US Lackeys(TM). Funny how he felt just fine walking around freely in both of these countries all this time, having only one of the two countries as barriers against US extradition, but adamantly fought the situation that would make them both be barriers to extradition.

Comment: Re:Competent Authorities (Score 3, Informative) 129 129

Which is, of course, false. AA has accused Assange of lesser sexual crimes, and SW has accused him of rape. There are no counts of rape against Assange concerning AA on the EAW, only three lesser counts (2x molestation and 1x unlawful sexual coersion). There is one count of rape on the EAW (count #4) concerning SW, in line with what the women have accused him of and also in line with what the Svea Court of Appeals has found probable cause for. Both women sought and retained legal representatives who have pushed the case forward for them (initially, both of them retained Claes Borgström, who was the one whose appeal got the closed portion of the investigation re-opened. More recently AA fired Claes because she thought he wasn't doing a good enough of a job with the case and was more focused on self aggrandizement; her new legal representative since started a new push to get Assange handed over to Sweden).

There's a lot more detail on these topics and more here.

The Assange-echo-chamber meme "Neither of the women involved have ever accused Assange of rape" is based on a simple distortion of a key element. SW (the one who the rape charge is concerned) didn't want to have to file charges - she only wanted to force Assange to take a STD test. She didn't want the thing to turn into a giant media circus that basically ruined her life and forced her into hiding from angry Assange fans. But there's a difference between not wanting to file charges and not accusing Assange of rape. She did accuse Assange of rape - first in conversations with her friends while coming to grips with what happened, and then went to the police station, where they told the officer on duty that they wanted advice on how to report a rape (see the statement by Linda Wassgren, the on-duty officer on the 20th). They were then interviewed separately where she described being raped, and after the interview she took a rape kit and sought a legal advocate (getting, ultimately, Claes). Since the leak of the Memoria file (a scummy act on Assange's side, I should add, as it's full of identifying personal details about his accusers and their families that have been used to harrass them - and we know it came from Assange's side because the cover page has a note to Assange's attorney telling him that it's confidential and must not be released), there have been a number of other followup interviews and investigations, and at no point have any objections from AA or SW been recorded. There is absolutely nothing in the record supporting a claim "Neither of the women involved have ever accused Assange of rape". SW has pretty much had to disappear after the event; AA went into hiding for a while but has since resumed taking part in some of the old forums that she used to; last fall she mentioned the case for the first time since the one brief statement she had given to the press after going to the police, mentioning offhand in an unrelated thread that a couple years ago she was the victim of a sex crime and that the perpetrator still hasn't been brought to justice, but rather she's still attacked by his fans for daring to report it. She didn't mention Assange by name, but it's obvious who she was referring to.

Most people who are raped don't want to file charges. They don't want the viscious attacks that come with it and want to shove the event in the past and not have to keep reliving it. A hundred times over when the accused is someone famous who has a lot of loyal fans. But claiming "not wanting to file charges" means "wasn't raped" is a massive distortion.

Comment: Re:Competent Authorities (Score 4, Insightful) 129 129

It's not an "IF" as to whether Assange cherry picks things for political reasons. He does. There are lots of things he's deliberately kept back with threats to release if certain things happen that he doesn't want (unredacted cables, files against NewsCorp, etc). The most famous was his "insurance file" which was to be released "should anything happen to him", which was left vague enough that it wasn't clear whether he was talking about "being killed" or simply "being sent to Sweden" (the statement being made during his fight to avoid surrender to Sweden). The scummiest blackmail on his part, IMHO, was his threatening to release unredacted documents that could get various aid/human rights organizations' employees killed if said organizations didn't provide him money (most famously his $700k shakedown of Amnesty International).

He refers to the leaks in Wikileaks' possession as his "property", and made all Wikileaks staffers sign an onerous NDA imposing ridiculous fines if they do anything to reduce the monetary value of said property, such as by leaking it.

Comment: Re:David Cameron is actually a genuine idiot (Score 1) 254 254

I don't think you understand the tragedy of the commons from your interpretation of it there. What you are describing is straightforward fraud, and it's much more easily dealt with than by saying "well sorry, nobody can have anything".

Fraud when used to overconsume a public good is a manifestation (and a very common one at that) of tragedy of the commons.

and it's much more easily dealt with than by saying "well sorry, nobody can have anything".

Sure, we'll just make more rules and increase our surveillance of everyone. And sometimes we won't actually do anything to diminish the fraud, because the point of creating the public good was to enable the fraud. One ends up with a lot of theater and a diminishment of human freedom as a result.

For example, I believe that's what US defense procurement is about these days. They make a great show of accounting for screws and a remarkably poor one of accounting for the effectiveness of the resulting military systems. Using substandard screws is abhorrent while building a few hundred planes for a good part of a trillion dollars that are terrible for the roles they are used in is just fine.

Comment: Start a hot dog fire with booster cables (Score 1) 172 172

My brother and his friend found themselves without any matches recently, but needing to start a fire to roast hot dogs and marsh mellows over. Using a paperclip and jumper cables they got the fire going quite quickly so they didn't have to eat raw hot dogs. They did have to carefully lay the fire though with lots of tinder as the paperclip only lasted a few seconds. But it was enough.

"Well, it don't make the sun shine, but at least it don't deepen the shit." -- Straiter Empy, in _Riddley_Walker_ by Russell Hoban